Former Bucs Tight End Dies Unexpectedly

Calvin Magee

Getty Former Buccaneers tight end Calvin Magee died on Friday, May 20, at age 59.

One-time Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end former college coach Calvin Magee died at age 59 on Friday, May 20.

“Calvin Magee was part of the Tampa Bay community for many years, first as a Buccaneers player, and then as a high school and college coach,” the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ statement reads. “We send our condolences to his family, friends and the countless players he impacted in his more than three decades coaching the game.”

Magee played for the Bucs from 1985 to 1988, and he tallied 114 catches for 1,379 yards and 11 touchdowns. His best season came in 1986 when he caught 45 passes for 564 yards and five touchdowns, mostly from Hall of Famer Steve Young.

Magee came to the Bucs as an undrafted free agent in 1985 after his college career at Southern University where he earned All-America honors. The New Orleans native went on to coach, which included helping the South Florida FBS program get off the ground in the 1990s.

“My heart goes out to the family of Calvin Magee who just passed,” former South Florida head coach Jim Leavitt wrote on Twitter. “I hired Calvin from Tampa Catholic at USF. Rose [Magee’s wife] and their children are special. Calvin meant so much to me and many others.”

Magee suffered a heart attack last weekend according to Jacksonville State athletics, where he last coached as an offensive coordinator. He coached in the college ranks from 1996 to 2022.

“Calvin was a great husband, great father and grandfather, great coach, great friend, and great man. He impacted my life and the lives of so many others in such a positive way. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful family,” JSU head coach Rich Rodriguez wrote in a statement.

Magee is survived by his wife, Rose, two daughters, his son, and grandchildren.


Magee Played Twos Seasons With Steve Young in Tampa

When Magee came into the league, he played with a then-future Hall of Fame quarterback in Steve Young.

The quarterback left Tampa Bay via a trade to San Francisco and went on to win Super Bowls and become a Hall of Fame quarterback. Magee shared about one of his favorite memories playing with Young for a 2005 Tampa Bay Times story ahead of Young’s Hall of Fame induction.

Young and receivers and tight ends would go out for ice cream at McDonald’s the night before games, Tampa Bay Times guest columnist Ernest Hooper wrote. Young drove an old convertible Cadillac back then per Hooper.

“I always wondered what a guy like him was doing with an old car like that,” Magee said of Young per Hooper in 2005. “More than anything, he was a great person, just a regular old person.”

Magee played in all 16 games in both of his first two seasons, and Young played in eight games for 1985 and 14 in 1986. Magee also played with former Bucs quarterbacks Steve DeBerg and Vinny Testaverde.


Magee Coached 25 Years in College

Magee coached at South Florida as an assistant from 1996 to 2000.

He then spent seven seasons at West Virginia as an assistant from 2001 to 2007 followed by Michigan from 2008 to 2010. He also coached Pittsburgh in 2011, Arizona from 2012 to 2017, New Mexico in 2018, Ole Miss in 2019, and Duke in 2021 before his last stop at JSU.

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